I'm kicking myself: Scottish first minister sorry for mask error

LONDON (Reuters) - Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon apologized Wednesday after being photographed without a mask at an indoor event in violation of strict COVID-19 rules.
Sturgeon, the leader of the nationalist Scottish National Party, was spoken to a group of women in a pub with no face covering after a funeral in Edinburgh last week. The photo was published in the Scottish edition of the Sun newspaper on Wednesday.
"Last Friday when I was attending a funeral, I briefly took off my mask. That was a stupid mistake and I'm really sorry," Sturgeon said in a statement.
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"I talk about the importance of masks every day so I won't offer excuses. I was wrong, I kick myself and I'm sorry."
By law in Scotland, people are required to wear masks in most indoor spaces, including pubs and restaurants. On Tuesday, Sturgeon reminded the public of the importance of wearing masks when speaking in front of the Scottish Parliament.
The Scottish Conservatives, Scotland's arm of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's ruling party, said Sturgeon should have known better and that it was undermining the public health message.
"There cannot be one rule for Nicola Sturgeon and another for everyone else," the Scottish Conservatives said on Twitter.
UK Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, however, was more forgiving.
"Lots of people make mistakes," he told Sky News. "It's never easy, we are all human at the end of the day."
(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by James Davey)
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